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I’d always loved maths and knew I wanted to work in the corporate space. So I studied a double degree at the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and a Bachelor of Science (Maths).
Yep! When I was looking at what to apply for as part of the Summer Vacation program, Financial Advisory’s Mergers & Acquisitions team sounded like it’d be a good mix for my skills. It allowed me to work across Transaction Services, Valuations, and Advisory.
So, I’ll be completely honest and say that I only applied for Western Sydney because the Summer Vacation role in the Sydney CBD office had closed. I live in Menai so it made more sense to travel into the CBD. But I’m so glad it worked out this way!
As a vaccie, I really enjoyed the fun vibe of the Western Sydney Office and saw the potential to grow professionally here, which is what brought me back. It also meant that I got to become the first ever Grad to be hired for Financial Advisory’s Transaction Services team in Western Sydney – which is the role I’m in now!
To begin with, I wasn’t sure about it. A lot of my friends and family seemed quite hesitant about it. There was a lot of ‘Are you sure?’, ‘Why don’t you just apply for another company?’, ‘Why would you work in Western Sydney?!’
A couple of things. Firstly, I found the team here at Western Sydney were just so friendly and down to earth. After my first interview, I saw just how approachable and friendly the Partners and Directors were – they weren’t scary or intimidating.
When I started doing the actual work I found that being part of a smaller team meant I got given a lot more responsibility and exposure to client projects across different practices. I also got to be part of the Shaping Future Cities project launch, which made me realise it’s a prime time to be in Western Sydney and that I wanted to be part of that whole change from the beginning.
The thing that surprised me most in my first year as a grad was just how much my leaders cared about my career and development! In the last year I’ve really enjoyed the work and have had exposure to a range of interesting transactions, as well as things outside of my everyday job.
For example, I showed a passing interest in real estate, so my Partner gave me the opportunity to work with him to produce the Parramatta Crane Survey, and I also got to work on a report about the Greater Western Sydney real estate scene. This led to him sponsoring me to be part of the 500 Women in Property Program for 2018! More recently, he has also gotten me involved in the account planning for Deloitte’s Real Estate and Construction Client Group nationally.
To have your leaders back you like that, to really advocate for you and think you can achieve things that you might not have even thought about – it’s just amazing.
It’s a diversity initiative set up by the Property Council of Australia that aims to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions. Usually, the professionals who are nominated are more experienced – so I was really surprised when I was picked to be part of it! It means that even though I’m a Grad, I get to network with some very senior professionals.
My application included the work I’d done on the Crane Survey and Western Sydney real estate scene, so I think that really helped me stand out.
For me personally, having grown up in the Sutherland Shire, I think working in Parramatta has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It’s just been a whole new world for me and has opened me up to different cultures, people and of course food!
I’ve also found I’m just in my element here. I feel that I can be myself and the team are just so close knit. We all go out for lunch and dinner together. I hang out with my Manager outside of work. It’s just so nice to work with people who really care about you and trust you.
Theresa is a Graduate in our Mergers and Acquisitions team in Western Sydney. Theresa participated in the 500 Women in Property Program in 2018, passed Level I of the CFA Program. Theresa graduated from UNSW in Mathematics and Finance with distinction.